Unveiling the Tapestry of Health: A Holistic Approach to Well-beingNov 15, 2023
As a gastroenterologist, I want to stress that health is more than what you eat. In addition to eating well, a healthy lifestyle is resting enough, being in touch with your body, and educating yourself about what you put in your body. A few hot topics I tend to hear a lot about are prebiotics, fiber, raw dairy, and probiotics.
Health is More Than What You Eat
Yes, food plays a significant role in the symphony of health, but it's not the soloist. A balanced life involves family, hobbies, friends, staying active, and getting enough rest. As a gastroenterologist, I often encounter patients fixated solely on dietary changes. Health comprises different parts that all contribute to feeling alive and well. So, while we navigate the dietary web, let's remember the power of holistic well-being.
Accessibility Matters: Realistic Tips
The myth that healthy living is a privilege needs debunking. Although organic and raw foods can be pricier, there are ways to make them affordable.
- Buy locally and seasonally. What's in season is a lot less expensive.
- Buy plant proteins in bulk. Beans, lentils, and legumes are all super inexpensive, especially in bulk.
- Eat less meat. Meat is expensive, especially if you're looking for organic or grass-fed. Switching over to plant-based proteins will decrease your grocery bill.
- Meal plan. A little planning goes a long way. Meal planning is excellent for a variety of reasons. For starters, it will help reduce food waste. Also, if you're planning ahead of time, you can prep ahead, too. If you have prepared something beforehand, making healthy choices is much easier.
Prebiotics & Fiber: The Gut's Best Friends
Our gut is a thriving community of organisms, and to keep them happy, we need prebiotics. For the sake of our health, it is important to eat foods with lots of fiber. Many people need to eat more fiber. Fiber helps with digestion and also prevents colon cancer. Instead of obsessing over protein, let's focus on having enough fiber for a healthy gut and life.
Raw Dairy: Clarifying the Dairy Dilemma
When we say "dairy" in the U.S., we often think of highly processed whole milk. It's crucial to differentiate this from raw dairy, a less common but more natural form. To understand how dairy affects our health, it's essential to consider this aspect.
Probiotics: Navigating the Billion-Dollar Industry
Probiotics, often heralded as gut saviors, are a multibillion-dollar industry. While some success stories exist, it's essential to question their universal application. I only recommend probiotics for certain conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis. To improve health, choose foods with probiotics rather than buying supplements. The evidence for supplements is inconclusive.
Remember, health is like a picture made of many different threads. Each thread adds to the whole picture. Let's explore diet, sleep, accessibility, and gut health to embrace total well-being. Here's to a vibrant and holistic life!